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Addiction and Drug Use

National Judicial Drug Task Force Meets In Indy

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Brandon Smith/IPB News
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Indiana Chief Justice Loretta Rush (left) is the co-chair of the National Judicial Opioid Task Force.

Indiana Chief Justice Loretta Rush says judicial leaders from around the country feel a sense of urgency as they develop an infrastructure for court systems to address the nation’s opioid crisis.

Chief Justice Loretta Rush is the co-chair of the National Judicial Opioid Task Force, which formed last year. It met for the third time this week in Indianapolis.

Rush says the group develops solutions for court systems to address the country’s drug epidemic. An example: urging states to enter into border agreements.

“If we have a child in Indiana who gets removed and placed in foster care, we can’t get that child placed across in Illinois," Rush says. "Why? Because there’s this archaic law that says it takes six, nine, 12 months and maybe you get approved, maybe you don’t.”

But Rush says the bulk of the solutions will come from individual communities. And the task force can help empower those communities.

“That takes sort of the melding of grants and resources and education together,” Rush says.

Rush says a big job of the task force is getting other stakeholders to recognize courts can play a role to help solve the drug crisis.